Forums

MicroZED

Started by John Larkin October 19, 2013
On Sat, 19 Oct 2013 19:27:49 -0700 (PDT), edward.ming.lee@gmail.com wrote:

> >> The time and effort that I'm trying to avoid is buying a BGA FPGA and an Arm >> CPU, and designing and laying out a board with DRAM, flash, ethernet, switching >> regulators, jtag, and all the things you need to make a complex signal >> processor, and then starting in on the software. > >How about a soft CPU core? There are IP cores for 8051, 6502, z80, AVR, MIPS and ARM, as well as non-standard one like ZPU and single customer core like BellMac32. We were just discussing this a few days ago in C.A.E. You can even make something in-between. > >Spartian 6 ($20) based evaluation board sells for $400+ >I don't believe Zynq ($40) boards will last too long for less than $200.
The soft cores eat a lot of FPGA resources and tend to be slow. Zynq has two hard ARM cores, 800 MHz, pretty spiffy. And an on-chip ADC. Avnet is selling and supporting ZED, so it's not entirely an amateur thing. -- John Larkin Highland Technology Inc www.highlandtechnology.com jlarkin at highlandtechnology dot com Precision electronic instrumentation Picosecond-resolution Digital Delay and Pulse generators Custom timing and laser controllers Photonics and fiberoptic TTL data links VME analog, thermocouple, LVDT, synchro, tachometer Multichannel arbitrary waveform generators
On Saturday, October 19, 2013 9:34:41 PM UTC-7, John Larkin wrote:
> On Sat, 19 Oct 2013 19:27:49 -0700 (PDT), edward.ming.lee@gmail.com wrote=
:
>=20 >=20 >=20 > > >=20 > >> The time and effort that I'm trying to avoid is buying a BGA FPGA and =
an Arm
> >> CPU, and designing and laying out a board with DRAM, flash, ethernet, =
switching
> >> regulators, jtag, and all the things you need to make a complex signal > >> processor, and then starting in on the software. >=20 > >How about a soft CPU core? There are IP cores for 8051, 6502, z80, AVR,=
MIPS and ARM, as well as non-standard one like ZPU and single customer cor= e like BellMac32. We were just discussing this a few days ago in C.A.E. Y= ou can even make something in-between.
>=20
> >Spartian 6 ($20) based evaluation board sells for $400+ > >I don't believe Zynq ($40) boards will last too long for less than $200. >=20 > The soft cores eat a lot of FPGA resources and tend to be slow. Zynq has =
two
> hard ARM cores, 800 MHz, pretty spiffy. And an on-chip ADC. >=20
That's why the chip retails for more than $50. I worry about putting a $10= chip in a product. $20 FPGA is at the top end. $50 is not my cup of tea. If you really need the speed, then go for it. =20
> Avnet is selling and supporting ZED, so it's not entirely an amateur thin=
g. Yes, but their goal is to sell chips, taking losses in boards. As long as = you realize the real cost and not counting on the intro pricing on these bo= ards for long.
Den s=F8ndag den 20. oktober 2013 07.28.08 UTC+2 skrev edward....@gmail.com=
:
> On Saturday, October 19, 2013 9:34:41 PM UTC-7, John Larkin wrote: >=20 > > On Sat, 19 Oct 2013 19:27:49 -0700 (PDT), edward.ming.lee@gmail.com wro=
te:
>=20 > >=20 >=20 > >=20 >=20 > >=20 >=20 > > > >=20 > >=20 >=20 > > >> The time and effort that I'm trying to avoid is buying a BGA FPGA an=
d an Arm
>=20 > > >> CPU, and designing and laying out a board with DRAM, flash, ethernet=
, switching
>=20 > > >> regulators, jtag, and all the things you need to make a complex sign=
al
>=20 > > >> processor, and then starting in on the software. >=20 > >=20 >=20 > > >How about a soft CPU core? There are IP cores for 8051, 6502, z80, AV=
R, MIPS and ARM, as well as non-standard one like ZPU and single customer c= ore like BellMac32. We were just discussing this a few days ago in C.A.E. = You can even make something in-between.
>=20 > >=20 >=20 >=20 >=20 > > >Spartian 6 ($20) based evaluation board sells for $400+ >=20 > > >I don't believe Zynq ($40) boards will last too long for less than $20=
0.
>=20 > >=20 >=20 > > The soft cores eat a lot of FPGA resources and tend to be slow. Zynq ha=
s two
>=20 > > hard ARM cores, 800 MHz, pretty spiffy. And an on-chip ADC. >=20 > >=20 >=20 >=20 >=20 > That's why the chip retails for more than $50. I worry about putting a $=
10=20
>chip in a product. $20 FPGA is at the top end. $50 is not my cup of tea. >=20
it of course depends on what the product is going to sell for, but if=20 that 50$ part does the job of five 10$ parts with less hassle and in=20 the case of fpga+cpu on a single chip potentially more performance=20 I'd say it is a winner
>=20 >=20 > If you really need the speed, then go for it. =20 >=20 >=20 >=20 > > Avnet is selling and supporting ZED, so it's not entirely an amateur th=
ing.
>=20 >=20 >=20 > Yes, but their goal is to sell chips, taking losses in boards. As long a=
s=20
> you realize the real cost and not counting on the intro pricing on these=
=20
> boards for long.
indeed, but as long as you take the real price in to account you'll be=20 saving until you might have to do you own production The end user license for the STM32F4Discovery development board actually=20 says you cannot use it in a product, whether that is enforceable or not=20 is probably debatable=20 -Lasse
> > That's why the chip retails for more than $50. I worry about putting a $10 > >chip in a product. $20 FPGA is at the top end. $50 is not my cup of tea.
> > it of course depends on what the product is going to sell for, but if > that 50$ part does the job of five 10$ parts with less hassle and in > the case of fpga+cpu on a single chip potentially more performance > I'd say it is a winner
But a $50 FPGA can do a pretty good CPU. No question about it, single chip CPU+FPGA is a good idea. However, dual core GHz CPU with 24K FPGA is a big mismatch. I just think that they went overboard with the CPU cores.
> > > If you really need the speed, then go for it. > > > > Avnet is selling and supporting ZED, so it's not entirely an amateur thing. > > > Yes, but their goal is to sell chips, taking losses in boards. As long as > > you realize the real cost and not counting on the intro pricing on these > > boards for long. > > indeed, but as long as you take the real price in to account you'll be > saving until you might have to do you own production
But they have a tendency to go non-stocking or no-stocking when you need them.
> The end user license for the STM32F4Discovery development board actually > says you cannot use it in a product, whether that is enforceable or not > is probably debatable
That's not the point. Better be up front about the fact and not getting your customer angry, the exact customer/designer you are trying to target.
Den s=F8ndag den 20. oktober 2013 20.06.38 UTC+2 skrev edward....@gmail.com=
:
> > > That's why the chip retails for more than $50. I worry about putting=
a $10=20
>=20 > > >chip in a product. $20 FPGA is at the top end. $50 is not my cup of =
tea.
>=20 >=20 >=20 > >=20 >=20 > > it of course depends on what the product is going to sell for, but if=
=20
>=20 > > that 50$ part does the job of five 10$ parts with less hassle and in=20 >=20 > > the case of fpga+cpu on a single chip potentially more performance=20 >=20 > > I'd say it is a winner >=20 >=20 >=20 > But a $50 FPGA can do a pretty good CPU. No question about it, single ch=
ip
> CPU+FPGA is a good idea. However, dual core GHz CPU with 24K FPGA is a b=
ig=20
> mismatch. I just think that they went overboard with the CPU cores.
They went with something that can reasonably run android/Linux,=20 the older CPU/FPGA combos were more like an FPGA with a CPU tacked on, you = had to use FPGA resources to implement stuff like memory controllers, stand= ard peripherals etc. before you could even get it running =20 afaiu Zynq is different in that it basically a full microprocessor similar = to what you might find in a cell phone or tablet just with an FPGA as a per= ipheral=20 =20 -Lasse
On Sunday, October 20, 2013 11:30:29 AM UTC-7, Lasse Langwadt Christensen w=
rote:
> Den s=F8ndag den 20. oktober 2013 20.06.38 UTC+2 skrev edward....@gmail.c=
om:
>=20 > > > > That's why the chip retails for more than $50. I worry about putti=
ng a $10=20
>=20 > > > >chip in a product. $20 FPGA is at the top end. $50 is not my cup o=
f tea.
> > > it of course depends on what the product is going to sell for, but if=
=20
> > > that 50$ part does the job of five 10$ parts with less hassle and in=
=20
> > > the case of fpga+cpu on a single chip potentially more performance=20
> > > I'd say it is a winner >=20 > > But a $50 FPGA can do a pretty good CPU. No question about it, single =
chip
> > CPU+FPGA is a good idea. However, dual core GHz CPU with 24K FPGA is a=
big=20
> > mismatch. I just think that they went overboard with the CPU cores. >=20 > They went with something that can reasonably run android/Linux,=20
Linux and/or Android can run with far less. Single core 800MHz can do almo= st everything including low res video. =20
>=20 > the older CPU/FPGA combos were more like an FPGA with a CPU tacked on, yo=
u had to use FPGA resources to implement stuff like memory controllers, sta= ndard peripherals etc. before you could even get it running
>=20 > afaiu Zynq is different in that it basically a full microprocessor simila=
r to what you might find in a cell phone or tablet just with an FPGA as a p= eripheral=20 The $89 LX9 evaluation kit also claim to run Linux. Sure, a z80 Linux, if = you can still call it Linux. To run a true 32 bit machine, you need at lea= st the LX16. Unfortunately, the LX16 kit is loaded with junks for $289. My point is: don't believe everything they are advertising.
Den s=F8ndag den 20. oktober 2013 20.42.03 UTC+2 skrev edward....@gmail.com=
:
> On Sunday, October 20, 2013 11:30:29 AM UTC-7, Lasse Langwadt Christensen=
wrote:
>=20 > > Den s=F8ndag den 20. oktober 2013 20.06.38 UTC+2 skrev edward....@gmail=
.com:
>=20 > >=20 >=20 > > > > > That's why the chip retails for more than $50. I worry about put=
ting a $10=20
>=20 > >=20 >=20 > > > > >chip in a product. $20 FPGA is at the top end. $50 is not my cup=
of tea.
>=20 >=20 >=20 > > > > it of course depends on what the product is going to sell for, but =
if=20
>=20 > > > > that 50$ part does the job of five 10$ parts with less hassle and i=
n=20
>=20 > > > > the case of fpga+cpu on a single chip potentially more performance=
=20
>=20 >=20 >=20 > > > > I'd say it is a winner >=20 > >=20 >=20 > > > But a $50 FPGA can do a pretty good CPU. No question about it, singl=
e chip
>=20 > > > CPU+FPGA is a good idea. However, dual core GHz CPU with 24K FPGA is=
a big=20
>=20 > > > mismatch. I just think that they went overboard with the CPU cores. >=20 > >=20 >=20 > > They went with something that can reasonably run android/Linux,=20 >=20 >=20 >=20 > Linux and/or Android can run with far less. Single core 800MHz can do al=
most everything including low res video. =20
>=20
sure, I have one of those cheap chinese 1GHz android tablets and it works but I can see why they went with something that is a bit more future proof the area is probably dominated by the big memories anyway
>=20 >=20 > >=20 >=20 > > the older CPU/FPGA combos were more like an FPGA with a CPU tacked on, =
you had to use FPGA resources to implement stuff like memory controllers, s= tandard peripherals etc. before you could even get it running
>=20 > >=20 >=20 > > afaiu Zynq is different in that it basically a full microprocessor simi=
lar to what you might find in a cell phone or tablet just with an FPGA as a= peripheral=20
>=20 >=20 >=20 > The $89 LX9 evaluation kit also claim to run Linux. Sure, a z80 Linux, i=
f=20
> you can still call it Linux. To run a true 32 bit machine, you need at l=
east=20
> the LX16. Unfortunately, the LX16 kit is loaded with junks for $289. >=20
but once you get a microblaze, memory, memory controller and the usual peri= pherals implemented how many fpga resources are left?
>=20 >=20 > My point is: don't believe everything they are advertising.
:) -Lasse
> > The $89 LX9 evaluation kit also claim to run Linux. Sure, a z80 Linux,=
if=20
> > you can still call it Linux. To run a true 32 bit machine, you need at=
least=20
> > the LX16. Unfortunately, the LX16 kit is loaded with junks for $289. >=20 > but once you get a microblaze, memory, memory controller and the usual pe=
ripherals implemented how many fpga resources are left?
>=20
I am not using the microBlaze, but a subset of BM32, which is around 200K Q= in full size. I can probably strip some instructions and addressing modes= . The BM32 is a 32 bits CPU with 16 registers. First 9 are general purpose. = Others are special registers such as AP, FP, SP, PC, PSW and PCB. I don't= think we need the Process Control Block pointer, so we will change it to P= ort Control Block pointer. Any port I/O should be relative to the PCB poin= ter. AP and FP should be general purpose pointers as well. R0-R8:GP R9:FP R10:AP R11:PSW R12:SP R13:PCB R14:ISP R15:PC Immediate Mode MOVW &0x12345678,% r2 84 4F 78 56 34 12 42 Deferred Displacement Mode MOVB *0x30(% r2),% r3 87 D2 30 43
On a sunny day (Sun, 20 Oct 2013 12:15:18 -0700 (PDT)) it happened Lasse
Langwadt Christensen <langwadt@fonz.dk> wrote in
<fe244b3f-6a48-4643-88c0-055ef5694f91@googlegroups.com>:

>> the LX16. Unfortunately, the LX16 kit is loaded with junks for $289. >> > >but once you get a microblaze, memory, memory controller and the usual peri= >pherals implemented how many fpga resources are left? > >> >> >> My point is: don't believe everything they are advertising. > >:)
There is an add on board with FPGA for the Raspberry Pi: http://www.bugblat.com/products/pif/ 35 $ or 25 $ depending on number of gates. Maybe for some stuff that need fast processing, say crypto, this solution also gives you Linux, no bloat Debian, and support for say 50 $ total. I have not tried it, came to my attention a few weeks ago.. But I would use it anytime above vaporware, or say more expensive stuff, I did look at the Xilinx product. Plus you can use the Raspi in a user product. mm maybe the SRAM blocks could replace the expensive FIFO chips in my Raspi DVB-S modulator... I should not look at these things, makes me want to order one.... :-) Oh, and replace the other glue logic, hey!
Den s=F8ndag den 20. oktober 2013 21.25.25 UTC+2 skrev edward....@gmail.com=
:
> > > The $89 LX9 evaluation kit also claim to run Linux. Sure, a z80 Linu=
x, if=20
>=20 > > > you can still call it Linux. To run a true 32 bit machine, you need =
at least=20
>=20 > > > the LX16. Unfortunately, the LX16 kit is loaded with junks for $289. >=20 > >=20 >=20 > > but once you get a microblaze, memory, memory controller and the usual =
peripherals implemented how many fpga resources are left?
>=20 > >=20 >=20 >=20 >=20 > I am not using the microBlaze, but a subset of BM32, which is around 200K=
Q=20
> in full size. I can probably strip some instructions and addressing mode=
s.
>=20
and that includes how much memory and what peripherals?=20 -Lasse=20